Welcome to the fifth in the Series I hope to continue all way into the new season. Each blog will cover a cyclist to be watched next year, their is no set criteria as such but my guidelines are the following; Under 26 years on the new year, never won a Pro tour event, and riding for a team that will get into the biggest races.C
You can find the No 1 in the series here
You can find No 2 in the series here
You can find No 3 in the series here
You can find No 4 in the series here.
Todays Young Cyclist to watch in 2013:
Name: Carlos Betancur
Nationality : Columbia
Build: 167cm / 60kg
Team: Ag2r LA Mondiale
You will have heard this fly weight climber mentioned in one of our other blogs, he was an u23 worlds silver medalist in his debut season in 1999 losing out to frenchman Sicard (previewed elsewhere). That was pretty much his 1999, but in 2000 he took a victory of note winning the Baby Giro. And he so impressively 3 minutes 50 seconds ahead of second he was described as well ahead of his opposition in ability and talent. It is an impressive event to win with the Bias in favour of local riders Anacona Gomez his fellow countryman came in a 9th regarded well now on the tour. He also rode the tour of Columbia but the long racing got to him and he did not place highly.
2011 saw a move to Acqua & Sapone who put him in their Giro squad. His best showing was late on, the difficult 20th Stage, in which he came home 4th climbing with big names such as Gadret, Scarponi and Menchov, a 58th in the overall represented a solid debut just a year after winning the junior version. He then really came to life with some very strong results in October with the season closing. He had an 18th in the Pantani race before then winning the Giro dell’Emillia were he held off Uran Uran and Mollema for victory. A race with a rich list of winners including Gesink, Di Luca, Frank Schleck and ivan Basso. He then had a most impressive 9th in the final monument of the season the Lombardy won by Zaugg. He came in with group 16 seconds down containing Gilbert and Visconti a sign of his talent.Betancur is a stand out Columbian talent
In 2012 Betancur had been due to join up with Ligugas but in the end stayed put and put in another season with Acqua. He had a really strong season. Showing a very strong hand in the Giro del Trentino, winning junior classement and coming 4th overall just 1min 42 down on his new team mate Pozzovivo. He was then second to Ballan at the Giro Della Toscana. He also had a solid 4th in the 4 jours de Dunkerque a lot shown so early in the season.
He then had a stage win in the Tour of Belgium out foxing Pauwels and Firsanov with Gilbert and Westra chasing them down. A week later he was winning Val Di Non beating young talent Moser to the win. September then saw him claim 5ths in Milan-Torino and Gran Piemonte, both races with talented fields were he looked at home.
With the strong 2012 showing he attracted plenty of attention and with ag2r changing its ways and seeing of Roche it has brought in Betancur to be the focus of its team. They had struggled to win on the world tour so sought to get points from outside to keep their world tour status. Betancur has proven himself in the climbs and capable for Grand Tours and he strikes me as a rider a lot like Rodriguez who could do great things.
Summary: Capable of wins in numerous races, bound to take out a hilly one day race and grab a grand tour stage win in my view. Ag2r should give him plenty chance to sign on biggest stage.